Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Bat Flipping

Bat flipping, yes or no?

Bat flipping is one of the most controversial topics in professional baseball. When a player hits a big home run should they go about their business and round the bases? Or, do they deserve a chance to showboat a little and flip their bat?

Unwritten Rules

Baseball traditionalists are typically against bat flipping. They feel that players should "act like they've been there before" when they hit a home run. No matter how big the stage, the player should casually drop their bat, round the bases, and at most high five their teammates after touching home plate. This is one of baseball's unwritten rules. It's a game about mistakes, even the best hitters fail 70% of the time. Since baseball is a game of failures, there's no need to taunt your opponent whenever they failure. The scoreboard does enough damage and you should "act like you've been there before".

New Philosophy

The new school stance on bat flipping is to "let the kids play". Every other sport allows players to celebrate; so why should baseball be any different? Bat flips typically can't be planned and are an "in the moment event". Sure a player can plan to bat flip, but who knows when their next home run will be? It could be 15 games from now and the routine is out of their head by then. So why not allow spur of the moment, impulse celebrations like a bat flip?

What do you think? Should players just round the bases after hitting a home run? No matter how big the stage? Or, are you more of a modern thinker and feel players deserve to celebrate their accomplishment? Let us know!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Choosing Between Open and Elite Division

How to Pick the Correct Baseball Tournament Division

There’s nothing worse than spending weeks practicing, getting your equipment prepared, booking a hotel, and traveling to a tournament just to get blown out. A team consisting of a few kids from a small town gets matched up vs a juggernaut of future of pro prospects and ends up getting blown out. Competitive balance is a tough thing to achieve in travel ball tournaments so many organizations have established different division levels. Learn how to choose the difference between open and elite divisions.

Open Division

The open division is the safe choice if you’re not sure which division to choose. The open division is the category that about 75% of teams fall under. This division consists of local recreational league teams full of players that joined based on their proximity to the team or were drafted out of a league pool. Other more established organizations that play in a few tournaments each season and/or have been around for a year or more are also typically considered to be open division teams.

Elite Division

The elite division is considered to be the best of the best. This division typically is filled with teams that rank in the top 25% of travel teams across the country. Players on these teams often have to go through tryouts or apply for these teams. Teams in the elite division also are normally part of major organizations that have several different teams at each age level. These are the organizations “A” teams. Most of the players on these teams are going to play on their high school’s team and at the next level for a college program. These teams are experienced and have been together for years, typically playing 50-100+ tournament games a year.

Picking the correct tournament division will allow your team to have a much better tournament experience. They'll be involved in competitive pool/bracket play games and have a chance to win their tournament division. Choosing the wrong division can lead to frustrating blowouts, preventing your team from improving.

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